On-demand Webinar: How to Bring Your Law Firm More Clients
Watch Our Webinar
read icon arrow
Get a Complementary Marketing Plan for You Law Firm
Book a 30 min call to discuss
Schedule a Call
Book a Call

PPC for Lawyers: A Quick Start in Attorney Marketing

Unleash the untapped potential of PPC advertising, boosting your online marketing efforts.

21 min
Jul 25, 2023
Watch law firm growth expert talking about PPC for lawyers

With Google accounting for over 93% of all search traffic in the U.S., it's clear that people turn to the Internet to find legal services. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an excellent tool for law firms to connect with potential clients and drive new business.

PPC services offer numerous advantages for law firms, including precise targeting of specific client demographics and legal services and optimizing online marketing efforts for improved client acquisition. Google has developed user-friendly resources to simplify creating a PPC campaign, making it accessible to anyone.

In this comprehensive guide to PPC for lawyers, we delve into what PPC is and how lawyers can benefit from it. We will also provide 13 valuable attorney tips to help create effective PPC campaigns and discuss PPC vs. SEO for lawyers. Let's get started!

What Is PPC for Lawyers?

PPC for lawyers refers to a digital marketing strategy where law firms and lawyers pay to display their ads on search engine result pages. This is achieved through a pay-per-click model where law firms bid on specific keywords and pay a fee every time someone clicks on their ad. A law firm PPC campaign aims to achieve a premium placement at the top of search engine result pages, generating leads for the law firm's website.

How PPC for lawyers works
This graph demonstrates how PPC works

PPC for lawyers is an effective way to reach new clients and build trust and credibility with potential clients. By bidding on keywords and phrases that match what potential clients may be searching for, a law firm can appear as a top result on the search engine result page, giving the law firm more visibility.

— Advantages of PPC for Lawyers

When done well, PPC can be an excellent tool for law firms. Like every other form of advertising, PPC has advantages and disadvantages for lawyers, and you should ensure you understand these before laying out cash.

Lawyer PPC advantages

These PPC advantages for lawyers stand out PPC among other marketing tactics.

Pay-per-click marketing benefits law firms looking to attract a specific type of client who is already searching online for an attorney. It's most advantageous in fields like personal injury‍, criminal law, family and divorce, OWI, bankruptcy, wills and estates, and Real estate.

Many law firms focus on PPC ad campaigns over other marketing efforts because of their undeniable benefits:

  • Flexible. You can adjust your PPC budget, target demographic, and keywords at any time. This flexibility is perfect for lawyers, who often need to change their law firm's marketing strategies on the fly as their cases develop or as their firms grow. You can decide where and when your ads run, and there is no long-term contract.
  • Measurable. You can track how many people are clicking on your ads and landing on your website. In a PPC campaign, you're paying for each click. It's critical to take advantage of analytics tools like Google Analytics that can track your progress. You can use these results to develop A/B testing for different ads, landing pages, and more to see what's most effective for your firm.
  • Fast. Unlike other forms of advertising, such as SEO or content marketing, which can take months or even years to generate results, PPC advertising can generate traffic and leads almost immediately. Lawyers can get traffic and lead from PPC on the first day of launching their campaigns. The fast results allow them to scale up or cut back based on their needs and goals.
A graph of projected PPC results
  • Highly Targeted. Thanks to the mountain of data that search engines collect on their users, you can narrowly focus your ads on the types of people you want to reach. Law firm PPC ads allow you to target prospective clients based on location, demographics, interests, and device type.
  • Easy to Set Up. Lawyers can easily create an account in Google Ads or Bing Ads, choose an initial budget and billing option, select target keywords and locations, design a few ads, and launch their campaign - all within a day. The easy setup means they can launch quickly and optimize over time based on their results.
Immediate PPC profit results
Using Google Ads, you can see how effectively your PPC campaign works

— How Much Does PPC Advertising for Attorneys Cost?

PPC services for lawyers can be expensive, especially for law-related keywords, which are some of the most expensive keywords out there. For example, keywords related to a personal injury law firm can cost hundreds of dollars per click. However, when done correctly, the fees can be trivial, as the law firm can earn more per visit than its cost per click.

The competitiveness of the keywords has a significant influence. Some keywords are more expensive than others. Law firms in big cities have higher CPCs because of the increased competition between lawyers.  

For example, according to recent data from SEMrush, a click for "New York accident lawyer" cost $293.75 during the study period. On the other hand, a click for "Montana lawyer neighbor's dog keeps coming into yard" would almost certainly be under $1.  

If you want to rank with the keywords "personal injury lawyer," you can expect to pay more per click than ranking as an "equine lawyer." Of course, other factors affect the cost of PPC ad spend, including the quality of your ad and how you optimize your website.

Your company should monitor costs and compare them to the results to optimize your campaign.

13 Best PPC Marketing for Attorneys Tips

PPC critical components
A strong lawyer PPC campaign consists of a combination of these components

A law firm's PPC campaigns can consist of any combination of these online advertising elements. Some types will work better than others depending on your location, your practice areas, and your goals. But an effective campaign should always include a few critical components.

1. Create a Client Persona

A well-thought-out client persona can help you understand your ideal client's pain points, motivations, interests, and behavior. This understanding will help you create a targeted, personalized, and effective PPC campaign that resonates with your audience.

An example of a client persona profile
An example of a client persona profile

But how do you create a client persona?

  • Gather data from existing clients, conduct surveys, and analyze market research.
  • Identify their demographics, lifestyle, income, education level, interests, and preferences. 
  • Dive deeper into their motivations, challenges, and goals related to seeking legal services.
  • Use this information to create a fictional representation of your ideal client, including their name, age, job title, family status, goals, challenges, and shopping behavior. 

Once you have a well-defined client persona, your PPC marketing campaign can be tailored to speak directly to your ideal client. You can use the voice and tone that resonates with them, craft messages that address their pain points, and use visuals that appeal to their interests. This level of personalization can help attract the right clients to your law firm, increase conversion rates, and improve the ROI of your PPC campaign.

2. Target Your Specific Location

You don't need to focus all your effort on nationwide campaigns. Geographical location plays a crucial role in the success of your PPC marketing campaign since your potential clients are those around your area. You can use geographic targeting features on PPC platforms such as Google AdWords to target specific locations. These features allow you to target ads to specific regions, cities, or even zip codes.

Local keywords in meta title

In addition, you can also use location-based keywords in your ad copy and landing pages. This can help your ads appear more relevant to users searching for legal services in your area. For example, you can include the name of your city or local landmarks in your ad copy to make it clear that your law firm serves clients in that specific location.

Another effective way to target your location is using Google Business Profile. This free tool allows you to manage your online presence across Google, including search and maps. You should claim your listing, complete your profile, optimize your categories and keywords, and manage your reviews to get the most out of your GBP.

3. Choose Your Advertising Method

When it comes to PPC advertising for lawyers, there are various advertising methods to choose from. Each method has advantages and considerations, depending on your goals, budget, and target audience.

— Search Ads for Lawyers

An example of search ads
Search ads appear at the top of the SERP

These are text-based ads that appear at the top or bottom of search engine results pages (SERPs) on platforms like Google and Bing. They are triggered by specific keywords and are targeted to users searching for them. When creating search ads, remember three key points:

  • Keep the ad clear and concise with a strong call to action, encouraging desired actions like contacting the firm or visiting the website.
  • Ensure ad relevance to the keywords potential clients search for, aligning with their needs.
  • Place ads on relevant websites where potential clients search for legal services, maximizing visibility.

— Display Advertising for Law Firms

An example of display ads
Your display ads reflect your personality. It should be appealing and correlate with your practice area

Display ads are essential for lawyers to showcase their brand's personality and attract potential clients. They are targeted based on user interests, demographics, and browsing history. They appear as boxes or bars on web pages, often featuring engaging videos or animations. Display ads can be strategically placed to pop up while law firm visitors browse your site, instantly presenting important content and driving a successful PPC campaign. Clicking on these ads directs potential clients to a dedicated law firm landing page, facilitating immediate conversions. 

— Remarketing for Attorneys

When some users browse online, they often leave without taking action. You can use remarketing ads to target those users. For instance, if someone has visited your site but has not taken action, your ads will appear as banners or videos on third-party websites and YouTube, reminding them of you.

How retargeting works
Despite the fact that retargeting is a long-term strategy, it improves your law firm's visibility on other websites

When you utilize remarketing, you need to: 

  • Use dynamic remarketing to retarget customers based on pages they visited or content they viewed on your site. For example, show ads for estate planning to those who looked at estate planning pages. 
  • Focus on value and benefits. Remind prospects of the key issues you can help them resolve or how you can simplify a complex legal process. 
  • Offer a call-to-action like "schedule a free consultation" or "call for a free case evaluation.” Make it easy for them to become a client.
  • Measure results in form submissions, phone calls, and client acquisitions, not just clicks. Optimize ads that generate the most qualified leads.

— Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) for Lawyers

An example of LSA
Google Local Services Ads target people searching for specific attorneys

Google Local Services Ads are highly effective for lawyers targeting specific practice areas in their service areas. These pay-per-lead ads reach potential clients searching for legal representation in your locality. Unlike ads that appear irrelevantly in distant locations, local service ads for lawyers are presented alongside Google search results when relevant keywords are entered.

Local Services Ads for lawyers offer precise regional targeting and an added advantage: you only pay when interested individuals contact your firm. This means you incur no costs if there are no clicks or conversions. 

4. Manage Your Legal PPC Advertising Budget

Your law firm marketing budget is one of the most critical aspects of your law firm's PPC campaign. It determines how much you can spend on each click, how many clicks you can get, and where you will show your ads.

When setting your budget, you must consider how much you will spend on each lead. The cost per lead for lawyers can reach $200 or more, but this amount will vary depending on your practice area and location.

To estimate what you should be spending, look at your competitors' ads and see how much they're spending on each click. You can also use tools like Google's Keyword Planner to see how much other law firms spend on specific keywords.

Once you know how much you should budget, stick to that amount. It's essential to monitor your spending to use your money wisely.

5. Research Relevant Lawyer Keywords

Google and other search engines use keywords to help users find the information they want. When users type in keywords, the search engine displays a list of results that contain those words and phrases. The order of these results hinges on several factors, including the relevance of the keywords to the user's search query and the quality of the content. For example, if you specialize in family law, some relevant keywords might include "divorce lawyer," "child custody attorney," or "spousal support lawyer."

Perform keyword research before creating a lawyer PPC campaign
In such popular keyword analysis tools as Ahrefs and SEMRush, you should also pay attention to specific metrics

Take advantage of free and low-cost tools to help you locate the best keywords for your campaign. When using popular tools like Google's Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and SEMRush, you should also focus on specific metrics like keyword volume, difficulty, trends, cost per click (CPC), and others.

The following are some ideas for selecting effective keywords for your PPC campaign:

  • Start with broad keywords related to your legal practice area, such as "personal injury lawyer" or "divorce attorney."
  • Target long-tail keywords, which are more specific and targeted, such as "car accident lawyer in New York City" or "contested divorce attorney in Nashville." 
  • Avoid keyword stuffing because modern search algorithms can detect this practice, hurting your chances of ranking high and turning away potential clients.
  • Use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant traffic, such as "free" or "pro bono," for those seeking free legal services.
  • Test, Test, Test. Don't be afraid to switch up your approach if needed.

6. Bid on the Right Lawyer Keywords

Keyword bidding refers to setting a maximum bid amount for each keyword in your PPC campaign. When a user searches for a particular keyword, the search engine will determine which ads to display based on several factors, including bid amount and relevance to the user's search query. For example, suppose you bid $2 on the keyword "personal injury lawyer," and your competitor only bids $1. In that case, your ad will likely be displayed when users search for that term.

However, it's important to note that bid amounts are not the only factor determining ad placement. Relevance to the user's search query, ad quality, and other factors also play a role.

7. Use Keywords in Your Legal Ad Copy

You need to use relevant keywords in your legal ad copy. These keywords should be included organically in your ad's headline, description, and display URL, and be sure they are relevant to the user's search query. For example, if you are creating an ad for a personal injury lawyer, incorporating keywords like "car accident," "medical malpractice," or "slip and fall" can help ensure that your ad is seen by users searching for those terms.

Remember to: 

  • Create compelling and persuasive ad copy that goes beyond keyword usage. 
  • Highlight the unique selling points of your law firm, such as expertise, experience, or successful case results. 
  • Craft your ad copy to resonate with your target audience, addressing their pain points and showcasing how your services can provide solutions.

Using dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) can also help increase the relevance of your ad copy. DKI automatically inserts the user's search query into your ad copy, making it more personalized and relevant.

8. Create Quality Ad Copy for Lawyers

Your ad copy should be clear, concise, and engaging. It should quickly communicate what your firm can offer clients and how you can help solve their legal problems. For example, instead of a generic statement, use a specific one like "Top-rated lawyers specializing in helping accident victims get justice."

Ad copy with an engaging meta title

When drafting your ad: 

  • Write a compelling headline with keywords that highlights your unique selling proposition.
  • Use ad extensions like sitelinks and callouts to provide additional information and encourage clicks.
  • Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) encouraging potential clients to contact your law firm.
  • Use language that addresses your target audience's specific legal needs.
  • Use ad copy testing to experiment with different messages and find the most effective ad copy.

Furthermore, ensure the ad links to a page on your website that closely aligns with their search query. Sending them to a generic homepage wastes money and reduces conversion rates.

9. Use Different Match Types

Match types determine how closely the search terms of users need to match your keywords for your ads to be triggered. There are three main types of match types: broad match, phrase match, and exact match. 

  • Broad match allows your ad to appear for searches that include variations of your keywords, including synonyms and related terms. 
  • Phrase match ensures that your ads appear when users search for the exact phrase or close variations of your keywords, with additional words before or after. 
  • Exact match displays your ad only when the search query exactly matches your chosen keyword. 

Using a combination of match types allows you to cover a broader audience while maintaining control over the relevance of your ads. Start with a mix of broad and phrase match to capture a wide range of potential clients, then refine your targeting with an exact match for specific keywords most relevant to your law firm.

10. Build Landing Pages Your Law Firm's Website that Actually Convert

As its name suggests, a landing page is a web page a user lands on after clicking on your ad. After creating a great ad that attracts potential clients and drives traffic to your site, ensure your website is ready. You don't want to disappoint visitors. Your law firm landing page forms the first impression; keep the page simple, clean, and easy to navigate for successful PPC advertising campaigns.

An example of appealing landing page
An example of an appealing landing page

How to Create a Legal PPC Landing Page

Here are some ideas for creating a good landing page:

  • Write a great headline that accurately reflects the offer made in your ad.
  • Keep your copy short and to the point. Potential clients will avoid reading long paragraphs on a landing page; they want to know what you can do for them fast.
  • Use attractive visuals. An image that catches the eye will hold attention longer than blocks of text.
  • Use strong calls to action. You want people to know what to do next, and you want it to be easy for them. “Get a Free Consultation” or “Download a Report” are examples of effective CTAs.
  • Keep your forms short. The fewer fields you require people to fill out, the more likely they will complete the form. If you must have a long form, break it into smaller, more manageable sections.
  • Offer something for free. A white paper, e-book, or report is an excellent way to get contact information from potential clients.
  • Make your page mobile-friendly. More people are using their phones and tablets to surf the web, so you want to ensure your site looks good on all devices.

11. Advertise on Mobile

People rely on their mobile devices for most of their internet browsing, whether at home or on the go. With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, potential clients increasingly use mobile devices to search for legal services. Your ads should be mobile-friendly and optimized for mobile screens—big or small. 

Consider the following techniques for successful mobile advertising:

  • Mobile-friendly ad formats: Ensure your ad formats are visually appealing and tailored for mobile screens. Craft concise, compelling ad copy that grabs attention and gets users to click.
  • Responsive landing pages: Design mobile-responsive landing pages that load quickly on mobile devices. Optimize the user experience by simplifying navigation, making contact information easily accessible, and streamlining form submissions.
  • Mobile-specific ad extensions: Utilize mobile-specific ad extensions, such as click-to-call or location extensions, to enhance the visibility and functionality of your mobile ads. These extensions allow users to contact your law firm directly or find its physical location with a single tap.

12. Boost Your Clickthrough Rate (CTR) with Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are additional information that can be added to your PPC ads. They provide more context and make your ads more relevant to users. Ad extensions include sitelink extensions, call extensions, location extensions, and review extensions.

Here are a few ad extensions that can help boost your CTR:

  • Sitelink extensions: Display additional links to specific pages on your website within your ad. This allows users to navigate directly to relevant sections, such as practice areas or contact information, increasing the chances of engagement.
  • Call extensions: Enable users to call your law firm with a simple click or tap on your ad. This extension is particularly effective for mobile users ready to take immediate action.
  • Location extensions: Display your law firm's physical address alongside your ad, making it easy for potential clients to find you. This extension is valuable for targeting local audiences and driving foot traffic to your office.
  • Review extensions: Showcase positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients within your ad. Social proof enhances credibility and trustworthiness, compelling users to choose your law firm over competitors.

Ad extensions help improve the quality score of your ads. Quality score is a ranking given by Google based on factors such as ad relevance, clickthrough rate, and landing page quality. A higher quality score can lead to lower costs per click and higher ad rankings.

13. Monitor Your Google Ads Performance

With PPC for lawyers, not only are you out there advertising, you're getting a constant read on the effectiveness of your ads. Due to its very nature, pay-per-click for lawyers gives you a steady supply of data — you know exactly when people are responding and what they are responding to.

These metrics can be monitored in Google Ads

These metrics can be monitored in Google Ads. Monitoring your performance is essential to any successful PPC marketing campaign. With data, you can see what's working and what isn't.

PPC Metrics for Lawyers to track

There are a few things you should be looking at when you're monitoring your PPC ads performance:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR). Your click-through rate is the number of people who click on your ad divided by those who see it. A high CTR means that people are interested in your ad and are more likely to convert.
  • Conversion Rate. A conversion rate refers to the number of people who take the desired action on your website divided by the number of people who click on your ad. A high conversion rate means that your ads are effective and that you're getting leads who are interested in what you have to offer.
  • Cost Per Lead. The cost per lead is the amount of money you're spending on each lead. You can calculate this by dividing your total spend by the number of leads you've generated. A low cost per lead means that you're getting a good return on your investment.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC). Just as it sounds, cost per click represents the amount of money your law firm pays for each hit — it's the pay in pay per click. The fee varies across platforms and by region. In this case, the lower the better.
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). CPA is how much your firm spends on getting a visitor to take action, such as placing an inquiry through your website's contact us form. Like CPC, this will vary, and you want it to be as low as possible.
  • Quality Score (QS). The Quality Score is a rating Google and other platforms give your ad. This rating is based on how relevant the ad is to what searchers are looking for. The higher your quality score, the less you'll pay per click — and the more likely your ad will be served up ahead of competitors. It's important to make sure your ad is as relevant as possible to achieve a high QS.
  • Return on Investment (ROI). This is the classic Business 101 metric: how much you are getting for what you are paying. Is the return — the number of new clients for your law office — worth the amount you are spending to get them? ROI is one of the most attractive things about PPC.

PPC vs. SEO for Lawyers: Fast Results with PPC Advertising

Why spend any money on clicks when you can get them for free? Why not just use search engine optimization (SEO)?

Well, PPC is the quicker and easier route.

A law firm SEO campaign can bring in new clients; however, excellent SEO takes considerable time and effort. As discussed, it takes time for search engines to index your site and update your rankings.

And optimizing your website for search engines is no small feat; instead, it's a multilayered process that requires considering numerous factors like a law firm's marketing strategy, data interpretation, and positioning. You must develop the right keywords and constantly refine your approach, adjusting to the data.

If you want results faster than SEO, PPC ads are the way to go. They can get you to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) almost immediately after spending mere minutes setting up your campaigns. Although it might be more expensive than SEO, PPC is worth the investment if you're looking for immediate results.

Law firm PPC campaigns are the best way to achieve both fast results and high rankings. 

Build a Successful PPC Campaign with Grow Law Firm

If PPC makes sense for anyone, it makes sense for lawyers. Pay-per-click advertising is an effective marketing tool when used well. You can connect with exactly the individual who is looking for your services in your area, and you can do so cost-effectively.

PPC services get results for lawyers. Since few firms even have a marketing budget, you begin well out in front, and it gets better there. But PPC only works if you do it right. Make sure you're capable of creating an effective campaign.

If not — if, like so many attorneys, you're better at practicing law than designing ads — you should hire a professional law firm digital marketing agency to make the most of PPC management services. (Hint: find one with expertise in legal marketing.)

At Grow Law Firm, we help build a great PPC strategy for legal practices looking to increase their revenue. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you improve your PPC.

Level Up Your Brand

Book a Free Consultation

read icon arrow
comparison analyticsgrowth chartgrowth trend
Compare your practice INSTANTLY
Stay Ahead of the Competition!
Compare your law firm's performance to Local competitors with our instant assessment tool
  • red icon
    Get a clear picture of your firm's performance
  • red icon
    Boost your online presence
Compare my firm
Compare your practice INSTANTLY
Stay Ahead of the Competition!
Compare your law firm's performance to Local competitors with our instant assessment tool
  • arrow
    Get a clear picture of your firm's performance
  • arrow
    Boost your online presence
Compare my firm
comparison of companies
background webinar imagesasha berson bigsasha berson small
Top Techniques for Busy Lawyers to Bring In More Clients in 2023
  • Easy steps you can take to bring in more clients and up this year’s revenue
  • The top website and marketing mistakes holding your law firm back
Table of Contents
    star dots
    icon sasha berson

    Consult with Sasha Berson, a legal marketing expert, to address your marketing needs.

    Marketing audit

    Don't just wait for clients, attract them!

    Get our FREE Marketing Audit to find bold new ways to boost your caseload.

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    growth trend
    Compare your practice INSTANTLY

    Stay ahead of the competition!

    Compare your law firm's performance to Local competitors with our instant assessment tool

    • red icon

      Get a clear picture of your firm's performance

    • red icon

      Boost your online presence

    Compare my firm
    growth chart